July 26, 2016

DIY Chalkboard Sign--Freehand!

Apparently I was feeling crafty this week because I learned to "french braid" my hair. I would post pictures.....but my husband informed me that I needed A LOT more practice.  Thanks babe. :(

 Although I am not too proud of my hair.....I am proud of my VERY FIRST chalkboard sign!  I did this baby freehand, without using printables. I know....I am crazy, right?

A friend of ours was going to throw out this chalkboard....but (luckily) we snatched it up before it made it to the trash.

I am not going to lie---it hung on our wall blank for about two months.  I was actually scared to make a sign---because I wanted it to be PERFECT.  Uhhhh hello........chalk is able to erase.  What  dummy I am.

Anyway...once I got up the courage to attempt a chalk design, I did my research first.  Also known as: Pinterest.  That is the modern day encyclopedia, right?

Check out my Chalk Talk board---that is where I pinned a lot of ideas, tips and tricks.

I started the process by finding a quote I wanted to use.  This sign is in my kitchen, so I knew this quote would be perfect.

Next I planned out how I was going write my text using paper and pencil.  This is where Pinterest became my best friend.  There are tons of pins on font ideas, lettering, shading, best font combos,etc. Once I had down my design I practiced, practiced, practiced.

Next I measured the size of my chalk canvas .  I had 26 inches to work with, which I divided into seven rows for my seven rows of text.

It is difficult to see....but that is why I used the blue painter's tape.  On the painter's tape, I measured and drew seven sections, that way I would know if I was making some text too large...which would make me run out of room at the end.

When I had my spacing down, I knew (eek!) I was ready to start.  I taped all of my practice drawings around the outside of the chalkboard.....easy to see and remind me what I was going to do.

Then.....I just went for it!

Here are my tips on creating a successful chalkboard sign:

  • Mix fonts (bold with skinny, scripts with serif, tall with short, thick with skinny, etc.)  Having contrasting fonts makes your eyes happy!
  • Embellish--this means add doodles---like arrows, banners, symbols, dividers, etc.   Again--this adds visual appeal. 
  • Research--hit up pinterest or google and get ideas.  There are a TON out there!
  • Plan ahead--this might not be the best for everyone, but it saved me time.  Grab a piece of paper and plan your fonts, your doodles, spacing, etc.
  • Practice--again not for everyone--but saved me time because I knew what I was doing once I started with my chalk.  
  • Have fun--be artistic and creative!  If you make a mistake---erase it, or turn it into something great!
If you want to become a professional ....check out this book:  The Complete Book of Chalk Lettering .  A friend of mine read it, and apparently it is amazing!  


Did you know you can also sign up for online classes?  Another friend of mine (I guess I have a lot of friends that chalk art) took a class from Hand Lettered Design

Check out their website.....they have free downloads, tips and tricks!